Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Lesson of Faith

This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17 NIV

Today.  It is not a special day.  There are no momentous occasions to celebrate.  Today is simply today.  Yet, it is a day that brings another profound lesson of Faith.

In the hustle of our lives, we get distracted from the stillness God calls us to.  We can overlook to promises God speaks to us through our worries and fear.  We can miss the voice of God among the noise of this world.

If we will simply rest, dive into His word and lean into Him, we will hear His whisper.  I AM.

Months back, I wrote about selling our house and moving to a place that had God's love notes to me written all over.  Since that time, we have enjoying many blessings.  The laughter of children, cozy nights with family, LOUD parties with friends and the continual provision of God's goodness to us.  We have praised God every day for what He brought us through.  We basked in the blessings.

Life still spun around us.  Parenting challenges, financial hiccups, martial stress was around, but we knew that God was in the midst.

This summer, our world was again shaken up.  For reasons that I don't understand, we are being TOLD to move again.  No, God did not speak with a loud boom that His blessings were done.  I don't know why, but God allowed our landlord to make choices in her life that affected us.  She wanted us to find a new place to live so she could move back in.

It is easy for some to say it is just a house, but for us it meant so much more.  I was angry, sacred, hurt and frustrated.  I cried out to God and asked what it was that we had done!  When lamenting my worries to a relative, I spoke out loud in pain that maybe we enjoyed God's blessings too much.  Maybe because we did, God revoked the gifts.  The relative responded with a resounding YES!  What a lie from the enemy.  I know that can't be true.  I know that it contradicts the character of my Father, yet the piercing blow still struck.

Suddenly, before I could stop it, I emotionally spiraled out of control.  My God is bigger than this.  My God is greater!  My Father loves me.  Yet to tell my burdened heart these truths was difficult.  Fighting off the lies that plagued my battered spirit became more and more burdensome.

It is just a house.  God's provisions brought to our family. We expected that provision to be long term. When it turned out to be short term, the other stresses in our life became heavier too. What were we going to do? What do we do next? I repeatedly would shut down and retreat into a "cave."

This last weekend, I saw someone of mutual friends that I have only seen a few other times, but is a precious sister in Christ.  I believe our meeting was NOT coincidental.  God orchestrated our conversation.

She reminded me that I was not alone.  She challenged me.  She spoke truth according to Scripture.

She reminded me of Elijah.

Elijah confronted Ahab.  When Elijah's life was threatened, he ran in fear. Worry. I am sure there was doubt too. After running for a whole day, Elijah rested under a tree.  God sent an angel to wake Elijah to eat. TWICE.  The second time, the angel told Elijah to eat because the journey was too great for him.  That food kept Elijah strong enough to continue fleeing 40 days and 40 nights where he found a cave to stay in.

When God found Elijah in the cave, the Lord questioned Elijah.  "What are you doing here?"  God asked Elijah this twice, Elijah answered.  Then the Lord said to go out and stand on the mount BEFORE the Lord.

A great storm came.  Swirling winds tore the mountains to pieces.  There was a great earthquake and then a fire.  The Lord had passed by, but He was not in the storm, earthquake, or fire.  God came to Elijah in a whisper.  How close do you have to be to someone to hear their whispers?  I can imagine, as my friend recounted the story, how Elijah had to lean into the darkness to hear that whisper.

After he heard God, Elijah got up!  He went out of the cave and stood on the mount before the Lord!

How many times had Elijah seen God's provision.  In 1 Kings 17, Elijah appears on the scene and immediately has to deliver a message.  There will be a drought.  Yet, God provided for Elijah and stream to live by...for a time.

Then, when the stream had dried up, God told Elijah to move again.  This time he was to find the widow and her son.  This woman was poor and only had enough for her and her son.  Yet Elijah obeyed God, told the woman that the flour and oil will not be used up until the rains come.  God's provision again...for a time.

Now we find Elijah hiding away in a cave out of fear for his life.  It should have been second nature to trust God right?  Even a prophet needs to hear the whisper of his Creator.

I heard God's whisper through my sweet friend.  "Why are you in that cave? Come out and stand before me."  I was encouraged.  How many times had I seen God's faithfulness played out in my life?  I have no reason to fear.  I do, but I haven't forgotten.

Remember yesterday when God told Moses to write everything down so that it would not be forgotten?
Well, welcome to my story.  God is unfolding His plan right now.  So far, I am standing on the mount before God.  Just as Elijah received what he needed to run, to hide, and to stand, I will too.  God has not forgotten me.  His blessings are rich and true no matter what.  I am waiting for the next page, the instructions, direction, provision.

Stay tuned...